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Village of Adams awards contracts to build expanded fire hall

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ADAMS — Contracts have been awarded for the 12,000-square-foot expansion of the Adams Fire Department hall, a $1,022,897 project on track to break ground this spring and be completed in the fall.

The village Board of Trustees decided in January that the general contractor for the project, with a bid of $659,185, will be D.C. Builders of Watertown. Additional contracts were awarded to Lawman Heating & Cooling of Sackets Harbor ($241,375), New Century Electric of Clayton ($72,737) and ABJ Fire Protection Co. of East Syracuse ($49,600).

The expansion was approved in a November referendum. To fund the project, the village increased its tax rate in March 2012 by 6 percent, from $6.68 per $1,000 of assessed value to $7.10 per $1,000.

“Our hope is that there shouldn’t be an increase in taxes for the next two to three years,” said Mayor Philip F. Chatterton, who is also a volunteer firefighter.

The board decided to build a metal addition rather than wood, due to lower cost that was determined by bids from contractors, Mr. Chatterton said. The metal structure is designed with a sloped roof to channel snow to the rear of the building, a feature the board favored over the wood structure’s design, which had a triangular roof that would have channeled snow to both sides.

The expanded firehouse will have six double-wide bays, enabling firefighters to enter and exit without having to move other vehicles, Mr. Chatterton said. The department owns four firetrucks, one tanker truck, a pickup truck and a utility terrain vehicle, and is housed in cramped space built in 1940.

“The current space was built when everything was small, and we have to move one or two vehicles sometimes just to move trucks,” Mr. Chatterton said.

The six bays now used by the department will be converted into offices and an expanded community room, he said.

Trustee Keith S. Perry said he was pleased that residents approved the project, because the village could have faced a higher cost had it waited.

“It wasn’t a smooth process, but the board did its due diligence for the fiscal health of the village, and I think the timing was right to do this project now,” he said. “A village of this size will always have long-term bond projects to pay off, but we’re now at a time where we’re in between other projects. We’re seeking alternative water sources and have an aging sewer system.”

The wiggle room of about $177,000 between the overall project cost and the $1.2 million bond will allow the village to cover preliminary site work that will be needed, along with other unanticipated costs, Mr. Perry said.

“We were hoping the bids would be lower so that we could complete that work,” he said.

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